A drive-through coronavirus testing facility is to open at the Motorpoint Arena Car Park in Nottingham, as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to increase testing.
Anyone experiencing a new, continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of or change in their normal sense of smell or taste, can book an appointment on the NHS website to be tested for whether they currently have coronavirus. Essential workers can book a test on the GOV.UK essential worker self-referral portal.
The site sits alongside the existing network of testing sites being set up around the UK. The facility will be piloted for its first few days of operation.
The Government has more than doubled the capacity of the NHS/PHE laboratory network, set up 52 regional test centres and 116 mobile testing units, and introduced home testing kits and three Lighthouse laboratories.
Health Minister Lord Bethell said:
“The Government continues to rapidly scale up the national effort to boost testing capacity for coronavirus to protect the vulnerable, support our NHS, and ultimately save lives.
“This is a national effort and we are proud to be working with a number of partners to turn this ambition into a reality and roll out additional capacity to where it is needed.”
Professor John Newton, National Coordinator for the UK Coronavirus Testing Strategy, said:
“New testing sites such as this one are a key pillar of our 5-pillar plan to scale up testing, and are critical in supporting essential workers who are isolating at home to return safely to work if the test is negative.
“This is a brilliant example of industries and businesses turning their resources to creating and rolling out mass testing at scale.”
The testing centre is being operated in partnership with Serco, and will offer assisted and self-administered tests. Those tested will receive their results within a few days.
Robert Ware of Conygar, the developer of the Island Quarter, said:
“When we learned that the DHSC was seeking premises for a COVID-19 testing facility, Conygar was only too pleased to assist by offering a large area currently being used for car parking at our development The Island Quarter close to the city centre. As a developer which is utterly committed to Nottingham, Conygar is pleased to be supporting the city with this crucial initiative.
“We have given the space completely free of charge to the DHSC for it to carry out these important tests for key workers and members of the Nottingham community. We worked closely with Nottingham City Council to help make this happen.”
Kevin Craven, Serco CEO for UK and Europe said:
“We are pleased to be supporting the Government and the NHS in setting up and managing the new testing centre in Nottingham as well as the testing centres we are already operating.
“I would like to pay tribute to my colleagues who have worked extremely fast and professionally, and with the other organisations involved, to set up these centres having deployed from other roles within Serco. I know that they are proud to be doing their part in helping the country tackle coronavirus”
A Boots UK spokesperson said:
“Boots has been at the heart of UK healthcare for 171 years and has always come forward to support the community in times of need. Our team in Nottingham is no exception. Some of our colleagues have already stepped forward to volunteer to run this COVID-19 testing station, which will start testing essential workers and people with symptoms of coronavirus on Wednesday, 27 May.”
In addition to the regional test sites, 116 mobile testing units operated by the Armed Forces travel around the UK to further increase access to coronavirus testing. They respond to need, travelling to test at sites including care homes, police stations and prisons. New units are being brought into operation each day.
The Government has set up a home-testing service, supported by Amazon’s logistics network and other commercial partners. Home test kits can be delivered to someone’s door so they can test themselves and their family without leaving the house.